What You Can Do as A Leader to Foster Strong Employee Engagement
As a leader in your organization, you have the power to make or break employee engagement levels. It’s easy in theory, much harder in practice.
Here are a few reminders on the best ways to foster your dream team today, and every day.
Start Off On The Right Foot
For new employees, first impressions matter beyond the interview. The way you present your company culture during the onboarding and training process impacts employee engagement, as well as retention rates. If managers are committed to fostering engagement through enthusiastic guidance, new employees will likely adopt the same earnest attitude toward their work. Better yet, they’ll do it from the first day on the job.
Empower Employees & They’ll Exceed Expectations
Empowerment has become a buzz word of late, which doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Rather, it’s a concept that works time and time again. But what does it mean, exactly? At its core, it’s giving your people the tools and resources they need to reach their full potential.
Remember that proverb, “Give a person a fish, and they’ll eat for a day. Teach a person to fish, and they’ll eat for a lifetime”? This is at the root of empowerment. It involves trust, autonomy, and yes, the dreaded “d” word…“delegation.” So stop fishing for people, and teach them to fish for themselves.
Engaged employees are empowered with the information and resources they need to do their job and to accomplish the goals laid out by management. A large part of this is keeping open lines of communication with your staff. Frequent feedback, provided at regular and scheduled intervals, combined with a supportive team environment, are a very engaging combination.
It’s important to note that providing frequent feedback does not mean micromanaging your team. Job satisfaction plummets when employees feel like managers are watching over their shoulder waiting for a mistake to be made. Giving employees freedom to use their skills and exercise decision-making within their role will result in higher productivity and greater engagement. People rarely thrive in an oppressive environment, so fight the urge to get caught up in the details, and try to see your team in the bigger picture.
“What’s in it for me?”
Engagement is a two-way street. In order for employees to feel like they have a stake in the company’s mission, you must offer ongoing professional development and training opportunities for them to expand their skill set and pursue an internal growth track. When employees know that they’ll benefit personally—through rewards, promotions, or other recognition—they’re more motivated to take ownership of their work and contribute to company-wide goals. Everyone wins in the end.
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